I was on my couch in tracky bottoms, drinking a cup of tea when Adrien Toyon called to say there were lefts at Santosha, only 2 guys out, and it was fun. Out there! OK I said, I’d just had a bowl of no added sugar muesli so reckoned I’d be 20 minutes or so, he said he’d see me in the lineup.

This is not last night. This is another day, but it is Santocha and it’s Sancho. Photo: Timo

I rubbered up, got on my bike and rode down, and guess what? He was still in his car talking on one of his mobile phones. In his crew were his dad, his video guy who is 5’0″ and a Russian dancer.
We paddled out and it was lumpy but pretty OK-ish. But. There was a large sea bird just bobbing in the lineup looking hurt. She or he had grayish black feathers, a huge beak maybe 5 inches long and light blue eyes. A cormorant, fully grown. I knew something was rotten in Denmark, as I was a member of the RSPB as a youth, and I know birds. A solid set came and she didn’t even duckdive or fly, and after the set, she’d gone.
“She’s on the beach! Let’s save her” Adrien exclaimed. We both caught waves in and tried to get her out of being rolled in the shorebreak. He was trying to scoop her with the nose of his board but it wasn’t working. Just then an English woman in a wetsuit with ginger hair appeared stage right and grabbed her properly and picked her up. “I’m a veterinary nurse” she said. After a quick chat we decided she would try to put up on the beach and let her rest and see if she could recover her strength. “Do you think she’ll die?” asked Adrien with a whimper “She might die” said the nurse. We paddled back out. He reckoned it’d be easier to go by the rocks but I thought just straight out. We decided to race, and I won by miles. When he got to the lineup I said “Would you?” about the red. He said “Naaaaaah no way” but he was lying.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement, next thing Jane Reynolds paddled out! He paddled out and started surfing the rights off the rocks. Suddenly, there were another ten people in the water. We were just three, but Jane must have brought the crowd with him. Anyway, he ripped this wave and that wave. He paddled for one and didn’t catch it and when he turned around I grinned but he didn’t. He looked kind of pissed off. Someone else paddled down from the rocks and I thought it was Rosie Hodge, but it was Damien Fartenhorse. He smiled a bit more than Jane. Then the Craig Ando paddled out. Craig! He did a bananas air first wave backside with no speeed. Just a huge launch with his knees touching each other. He did well. By now it was kind of crowded and I figured my dinner must be nearly ready, seeing as sunset was imminent. I caught a left and went along it fairly awkwardly to the beach. But! The right coming at my left carried a man called Jane. At a first look Jane was a good way away but how he flew with speed and momentum! I was about to go into a slow 3 o’clock off the soup as my finishing move but I kind of knew what was coming, so I straightened out with haste. Jane hucked the biggest air reverse you have ever seen in your life, rotated at warp speed and considerable altitude and crashed into the whitewater not a metre from me. I thought he was going to land on my head. I screamed, but giggled when I realised I was still alive. I looked back from the whitewater when he surfaced and smiled with a ‘that was close, haha’ kind of vibe. but he just looked like an angry surfer. Soz Jane. You can come and surf my home break any time you like, but please don’t get all moody at me for being there too, or I shall have to get gnarly and stop fancying you.


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